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Building a shipping brand
Graeme Somerville-Ryan argues there’s more to PR than crisis communications
Over 100,000 merchant vessels carry 90% of the world’s trade, yet the shipping sector rarely gets good press. Actually, it rarely gets any press, unless something goes terribly wrong. The industry bemoans this negative coverage, but rarely does anything about it - collectively or as individual companies.
Since the global financial crisis struck there has been very little positive shipping news to talk about. Bad debts, overcapacity, high fuel costs, and casualties have dominated the trade and mainstream media headlines. However, if companies want to change the way they are perceived by the public, their peers, and the media, they need to treat their brands as assets.
Most businesses see innate value in their brands. Indeed, a successful brand can actually be worth more than the sum of its commercial parts. Companies are bought out just for the value of their name. The strength of a brand is reflected in stronger share prices, the ability to attract the best people, easier access to finance, and greater success in bidding for work. Brands do have value, to the extent that they can now be insured.
A handful of companies in the shipping sector 'get' the concept and see the value in a strong brand. Maersk and DNV are two that stand out. It is worth, in partic ... More>>